Non-destructive testing

Non-destructive testing

Concrete is the most extensively used construction material in the world, twice as much concrete is used in construction around the world than the total of all other building materials, including wood, steel, plastic and aluminium. Concrete is used as building material for architectural structures, pavements, roads, bridges and more. About seven cubic kilometers of concrete is made each year, more than one cubic meter per every person on Earth. Currently the lifetime of much of the concrete structures such as bridges is expiring, but there are few non-destructive methods available for determining when the structures need to be renewed.

We develop non-destructive methods for the assessment of the condition of concrete and other solid structures, using diffuse tomographic methods such as electrical impedance tomography and thermal diffusion tomography. The new imaging modalities are expected to provide information on the degree of cracking, moisture distribution, condition of the reinforcement bars and microproperties of concrete. In addition to concrete, we are also interested in the determination of the thermal properties of solids, such as manmade composites and rock.

All the developed methods yield estimation problems that are severely ill-posed inverse problems. Due to the practical measurement setting, there are several uncertainties, which implies the adoption of the Bayesian framework for inverse problems


Aku Seppänen

Past and present collaborators

  • Professor Paulo Monteiro, University of California Berkeley, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Professor Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, North Carolina State University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.